Enterprise at MTU Launches Spacecraft—and Careers

There’s a method to design, build, and launch student-built satellites. Michigan Tech’s Aerospace Enterprise Team sets itself, its members, and its spacecraft up for success with an organizational framework that keeps multi-year, multi-agency, high-budget projects moving along—including one spacecraft in orbit and two more in process.
 “The student team has a leadership and management hierarchy that is self-sustaining,” says original and long-time advisor Brad King, the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Professor in Space Systems. “At any time, the current leaders are working to mentor their successors so we have continuity from year-to-year.”
Learn more about one of Michigan Tech’s oldest and largest Enterprise teams in the latest Michigan Tech Unscripted.

Information About Novel Coronavirus

Dear campus community,

You may have heard news reports recently about an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Information about this new coronavirus continues to develop, including the severity of symptoms it causes and how it spreads. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 travel warning, urging travelers to avoid all nonessential travel to China. Information about this travel advisory and the coronavirus are available on the Dean of Students Health Alerts webpage.

As of Tuesday (Jan. 28), there are no known cases of the coronavirus in Michigan. The University administration is monitoring this evolving health situation and will update the campus community if necessary. For more information about the novel coronavirus in general, please visit the CDC’s webpage.

Former Humanities Faculty Ruthann Ruehr Passes Away

Former humanities faculty member Ruthann (Richwine) Ruehr passed away peacefully Saturday (Jan. 25) with her family at her side. She attended grade school and high school in Plymouth, Michigan, then attended the University of Michigan and the State University of New York at New Paltz, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Education. After a long career in education, she went back to college later in life and received a master’s degree in communication from the University of Michigan.

She met her husband, Otto Ruehr, at the University of Michigan and their long and happy marriage began when she was 19 years old. They moved to Houghton where Otto was a professor of Mathematics at Michigan Tech and Ruthann taught in the Humanities Department.

She was well known for her work with the League of Women Voters in Houghton, where she served as president. She also ran for Houghton County Commissioner. Ruehr worked as an advocate for political issues that were close to her heart including extensive work resisting Project Sanguine/Seafarer.

Listed among her survivors are her husband Otto, children Erik, Fritz and Elena, sisters Judy, Marilyn and Margy, and grandchildren, Freya, Sophie, Talia and Amelia.

College of Business Launches Spring 2020 Husky Investment Tournament

The Michigan Tech College of Business is registering high school business classes for their spring 2020 Husky Investment Tournament, a virtual stock trading competition designed to be embedded into high school business classes.

Competition begins Feb. 17 and runs until April 3. It's free to participate. The College of Business provides Stocktrak accounts, where the virtual trading takes place, for each student-team. In addition to the trading tool, each week classes receive a video module and a news bulletin from our current students and professors.

Weekly standings are posted online and the top-earning team wins prize money, Michigan Tech scholarships (any major) and a visit to campus. All active participants receive a one-time $1,000 MTU scholarship (any major).

This fall 192 students from 12 classes participated in the inaugural outreach competition. Share the opportunity with any business educators you know, and for additional details, visit mtu.edu/business/tournament or email business@mtu.edu.

Library Hosts Strategic Planning Discussion Groups

After receiving a tremendous response to our library strategic plan survey, the library is hosting several discussion groups. The purpose of these sessions is to discuss the gaps identified in our plan and ask for your help in setting priorities.

If you would like to be part of the discussion for improving your library, please register for one of the following sessions:

We hope you will be able to join us. Suggestions and feedback are always welcome at library@mtu.edu.

Graduate School Announces New Tradition to Celebrate PhD Students Achieving Doctoral Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy is a major milestone for doctoral students. PhD students who have advanced to candidacy are deemed to have completed all formal requirements of their program, except the dissertation. Advancement to candidacy is an acknowledgment that the student is ready to undertake independent dissertation research and has the potential to successfully complete their PhD program. Formal requirements vary by program, they generally take two to three years after starting the program and include coursework, qualifying exams, and research proposal. To celebrate this milestone, the Graduate School at Michigan Tech has introduced a new tradition to recognize, applaud and celebrate doctoral students who attain this feat.

This new tradition will take the form of a ceremony that brings together candidates, their advisors and their families in celebration of students who have advanced to this stage in their studies. Candidates will be presented with certificates at the ceremony.

Commenting on this new tradition, Graduate School Dean Pushpa Murthy said, “The advancement to candidacy is a major milestone in PhD programs, it is an acknowledgment by the program that the PhD student has acquired the necessary advanced knowledge of the subject and demonstrated the ability to conduct research necessary for a dissertation.”

To be eligible for participation in this ceremony, doctoral students should have submitted the Petition to Enter Candidacy form. This form is submitted once the student has fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Submitted an approved degree schedule • Completed all relevant courses and course credits
  • Completed Basic and Advance RCR Training
  • Passed qualifying exams
  • Passed research proposal exams
  • Formed an advisory committee

Planning for the debut ceremony, which is scheduled for Feb. 26, is ongoing. More information about the new tradition and ceremony will be coming soon.

Parenting All Rainbow Kids (PARK)

Parenting All Rainbow Kids (PARK) is faculty/staff-led group for Michigan Tech employees who are the parents/guardians of LGBTQIA* youth. PARK aims to offer all parents/guardians of LGBTQIA* children a confidential, supportive community to learn and grow as parents/guardians together.

Meetings will be held on the first Thursday of each month at noon in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion's basement conference room. Our next meeting is Thursday (Feb 6). Everyone is welcome. Feel free to bring your lunch. For questions or concerns, contact Michelle Jarvie-Eggart.

MTU Sustainability Demonstration House to Host Open House

Be sure to stop by the MTU Sustainability Demonstration House during Winter Carnival to learn about sustainable living and housing design.

An open house will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Sustainability House at 21680 Woodland Rd. in Houghton.

There will be interactive demos of the house's sustainable systems, fun games and refreshments. All guests will receive free sustainable swag.

Film Board Presents: Maleficent Mistress of Evil

This weekend, Film Board presents "Maleficent: MIstress of Evil." Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and dark new forces at play.

 Show times:

  • Tomorrow (Jan. 31) —5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday (Feb. 1) —2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
  • Sunday (Feb. 2) —2:30, 5:30 p.m.

Located in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3 and concessions are $1 each. All are welcome to attend.

"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" is rated "PG" for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and brief scary images. 

Want to see what movies we’re playing next? Check out our movies and showtimes at the Film Board website

Chemistry Chair Candidate Presentation

There will be a chemistry chair candidate presentation at 9 a.m. Tuesday (Feb. 4) in MUB Ballroom A1.

Hua Zhao will present “Organic Reactions Catalyzed by Enzymes: Functionalized Ionic Liquids for Enzyme Stabilization.”

Zhao is a professor of chemistry and department chair at the University of Northern Colorado.

Faculty Candidate Jean Hardy to Present Lecture February 3

The Colleges of Computing and Engineering invite the campus community to a lecture by faculty candidate Jean Hardy at 3 p.m. Monday (Feb. 3), in EERC 214.

Hardy’s talk is titled “What does community-driven technological development look like in rural Michigan?” Hardy is a PhD candidate and Rackham Merit Fellow in the University of Michigan School of Information.

His research uses ethnographic and participatory design methods to understand how people use information and communication technologies for community formation and economic development in the rural Midwestern United States. Visit the blog post

Heather Knewtson to Present Lecture on FinTech January 31

Heather Knewtson (COB), assistant professor of finance, will present her lecture, "Toward Understanding FinTech and its Industry," at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 31) in Rekhi Hall 214.

In her talk, Knewtson will define the term FinTech, differentiating it from financial technology, and use the definition to develop an industry framework.

Read the blog post

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar takes place at 3 p.m. Monday (Feb. 3) in Chem. Sci. 102. William Breffle (COB) will present "Total Value Equivalency: Using Economics to Choose the Type and Scale of Environmental Projects"

The public is welcome. This presentation is a cradle-to-grave profile of a real-life Natural Resource Damage Assessment. The site is the Lower Fox River/Green Bay, which is one of the largest and most important Superfund sites in the United States. The fact that it is an integral and unique part of the Great Lakes Environment should make the talk of interest to Michigan Tech students, instructors, and researchers alike.

The technique used to estimate lost values due to environmental disamenities—specifically PCBs from paper companies—as well as restoration projects to offset those losses to the public, is the first of its kind used anywhere. Economics is the tie that binds science, public preferences, pollution issues, and government policy options in an intriguing and compelling fashion. T

hose interested in learning more about this method should sign up for EC4650/5650 Environmental Economics with Breffle in the fall.


Winter Carnival Queen Coronation is Saturday

The first major event in Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival is happening Saturday with the Coronation of the Winter Carnival Queen. The program takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 2) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

You'll meet the eight candidates who represent many different aspects of the Michigan Tech community and witness the amazing talents that each candidate will display. 

Tickets are free to Michigan Tech students with their ID and $10 for the general public. Tickets are available online, at the Central Ticketing Office in the SDC or by calling 7-2073. Tickets are also available at the Rozsa Center on the evening of the coronation.


Panel Discussion: Lecturer Promotion

The Provost's office will host a panel discussion on Lecturer Promotion at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 31) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. Panelists will share advice about submitting a lecturer promotion packet and answer questions about the process. Panelists will include Bill Predebon (chair, ME-EM), Amber Kemppainen (principal lecturer, EF) and Katrina Black (senior lecturer, physics). 


Gallery Exhibit: "Collaborations"

The Rozsa Galleries announce the spring Independent Artist Exhibition, "Collaborations," by local artist Jim Dee. The exhibit features a new series of paintings that use color to celebrate the strength and beauty of diversity. There will be an opening reception/ open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today (Jan. 30) in the Rozsa Gallery, A-Space. The exhibition runs through Feb. 20. Gallery hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays. The exhibit is free and open to all.


Biological Sciences Seminar Today

The next Biological Sciences Seminar Series will take place at 3 p.m. today (Jan. 30) in GLRC 202. Paul Doskey (CFRES) will present "Molecular Biogeochemistry of Soil Organic Matter."


ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Today

The next Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics Graduate Seminar Speaker will be held at 4 p.m. today (Jan. 30) in EERC 103. Paul van Susante (ME-EM) will present “Moon, Mars and Michigan Tech, How to open up the Solar System and enter the Age of Abundance."


Family Ice Time 

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at Broomball? Join us from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 for an afternoon of family-oriented fun!

Gather with the Alumni House at the Broomball rinks for hot cocoa, conversation, and open rink time. Take photos of the action, and build winter memories with your friends and family through experiencing this Tech Tradition.

Helmets are required to wear on the ice, and may be checked out for free from the Broomball Shack. Attendees should plan to bring their own helmet for youth participants, and they must be accompanied by an adult.

There is no cost for this event but space is limited as there is a limited number of brooms available, so take a moment to RSVP.


Café Francaise Resumes Today

Café Français resumes its activities this from 5 to 6 p.m. today (Jan. 30) in Walker 120C. Join us for an hour in a laid-back francophone setting. As usual, snacks and light refreshments will be served. Open to all. Any level of French is welcome. For more information, email danyj@mtu.edu


C-Cubed Luncheon Today and Tomorrow

Dining Services presents this week's C3 luncheons that will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and tomorrow (Jan. 30/31) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The buffet lunch is $12 per person. Cash, credit cards, and gift cards are accepted. Submit C-Cubed feedback here. To join the C-Cubed Google Group and receive weekly menus, email reservations-l@mtu.edu.

Today — “Native American Style Turkey Dinner”

  • Roast Turkey with Herb Gravy GF
  • Wild Rice Stuffing GF
  • Vegetarian Three Sisters Corn Casserole GF
  • Vegan Chile
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes GF
  • Vegetarian Native Bean Salad GF VE

Tomorrow —“Cajun Style Meal”

  • Muffaletta Salad Bar
  • Gumbo YaYa
  • Smokey Red Beans and Rice GF VE
  • Cajun Shrimp and Grits GF
  • Cajun Roasted Vegetables GF VE

 V- Vegetarian, VE-Vegan/Vegetarian, GF- Gluten-Free, P-Alternative Protein


Physics Colloquium Today

Two physics graduate students will be giving talks on their research at 4 p.m. today (Jan. 30) in Fisher Hall 139.

Andrew Puyleart (advisor Brian Fick) will present, "Cloud Identification Over the Pierre Auger Observatory Using Goes-16."

Geeta Sachdeva (advisor Ravi Pandey) will present "First Principles Study of Interaction of Plymer Molecules with Flat Carbon Nonotubes."

A social with refreshments will be held 30 minutes prior to the talk in the Fisher Hall lobby.


Mental Health First Aid Training

The next session of Mental Health First Aid Training will be held on the afternoons of Feb. 6 and 7. This training is focused on the college student population and the information received form this course will assist individuals in learning how best to respond to a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

Check-in is at 12:15 p.m. Feb. 6.

Session 1 will run from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6.

Session 2 will run from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7. Please see the registration form for additional details. For more, check out the previous Tech Today story.

In Print

A guidebook on best practices for selecting sustainable practices for the design phase of highway construction projects has been published by  Amlan Mukherjee (CEE) and PhD Candidate Chaitanya Bhat (CEE) as well as Co-PIs Steve Muench, Giovanni Migliaccio, Jessica Kaminsky and Jeralee Anderson.

In the News

Sarah Green (Chem) was quoted in the article "Even the 'optimistic climate change forecast is catastrophic," in Mashable.


Michigan Tech was mentioned in the story "To Recycle or not to recycle" in the Daily Mining Gazette.


Michigan Tech Alumnus Wellesley Pereira was featured in the article "AFRL Researchers Honored by SPIE Society," on the Robins Air Force Base News.